Reminders

This morning here in West Wollongong I noted how glorious was the Illawarra Flame behind an abandoned house I pass every day going to and from the Yum Yum Cafe.

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And then I came home having read Paul Sheehan’s rather remarkable column about Alan Jones being “bullied”. Loon Pond deals with that and has this lovely picture…

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That just asks for a caption and Loon Pond supplies one. What would your suggestion be?

Yesterday I showed quite clearly that even though I am in his “demographic” I really think Alan Jones is deep down a total ass. But I have not supported the petition against him either. So make what you will of that. Meanwhile here is a far more decent man, and an event I saw as it happened on ABC News 24 last night, noting on Facebook:

I just watched the Community Cabinet Q and A from Launceston, Tasmania, on ABC News 24 and am hoping a transcript comes in due course as it was a reminder that Julia Gillard can be far more impressive than we give her credit for in the present climate. It also was a reminder that aside from all the bullshit of the news cycle things really are being worked on. And at around 7.35 was a statement from the floor of the most amazing decency on the recent Alan Jones circus. 100 plus points to the man who made that remark. Hope, as I say, to get chapter and verse by tomorrow. It and he were just beautiful.

It may have been earlier than 7.35, but otherwise I still feel the same about this man and what he said.

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Ms Gillard and her cabinet had been busy dealing with questions about the carbon tax and foreign aid at a community cabinet event in Launceston when an elderly man asked if he could make a statement.

If you’re quick, Ms Gillard told him, and he read part of a letter he wished to give her, taking issue with shock jock Alan Jones’ version – since disavowed – of her relationship with John Gillard.

"John Gillard spoke of his love and pride for his daughter," the man read.

"He would have died knowing that she, Australia’s first female prime minister, is, as history will show, the most vilified prime minister by far in Australian political history.

"I dedicate this letter to your father, John Gillard – a Welsh coalminer, a psychiatric nurse, a loving father, a much-loved father and husband.

"And I dedicate it in the name of everything that’s good and pure and true and decent."

Cue massive applause, and Ms Gillard appeared touched…

No, Ms Gillard manifestly was touched, as was I, as anyone would be.

Let me remind you:

My father, John Gillard, passed away this morning in Adelaide.
He has battled illness in recent years but his death is a shock for me and my family.
Dad lived a long and full life.  He was brought up in a coal mining village and left school at 14, but transcended these humble beginnings to become a man with a love of ideas, political debate and poetry.
Migrating to Australia in 1966, he studied for a new life in a new land and became a psychiatric nurse.  For more than two decades, he showed his capacity for love and care to those most in need of help.
My father was my inspiration.  He taught me that nothing comes without hard work and demonstrated to me what hard work meant as a shift worker with two jobs.  He taught me to be passionate about fairness.  He taught me to believe in Labor and in trade unionism.
But above all, he taught me to love learning and to understand its power to change lives.  He always regretted his family background meant he had not proceeded on to higher education as a young man.  He was determined that I had the opportunities he was denied.
I will miss him for the rest of my life…

See also her address in Parliament on 20 September.

And let me add, in fairness, Tony Abbott:

On behalf of the coalition—and I suspect on behalf of all members of the parliament—I welcome the Prime Minister back after her bereavement leave. This is a tragic time for her, and we all feel for her at this very difficult and sad time. I also acknowledge the sad duty that the Prime Minister and I have been engaged in over the last few days attending military funerals. They are very sad occasions. But they are proud occasions, because the departed have done their duty, by their mates and by our country.

I again acknowledge John Gillard, who has done his country proud in producing such a daughter. It is a remarkable parent who produces a Prime Minister of this country. I acknowledge his journey from the valleys of Wales to this wide brown land. It is a journey I am a little familiar with, as my own maternal grandmother grew up in the village of Gelligaer, a former mining town on the south coast of Wales. For John Gillard, as for Phyllis Lacey, my grandmother, Australia has been a land of opportunity—although the same journey provided different political destinations, I hasten to add, in those cases.

We all know the place good parents have in the hearts of their children, and the coalition continues to extend its deepest sympathies to the Prime Minister.

Don’t you wish, at the very least, that Alan Jones had shut his gob? What he said would disgrace a public urinal even if muttered just to himself, let alone when speaking in “role model” guise to a bunch of eager Young Liberals, and some twat of a reporter…

Related:  Ross Gittins being quite marvellous yesterday.

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